Remember when Apple first announced the App Store for the iPhone. Remember all of the skeptics about gaming on the iPhone? I was one of them. Sure the iPhone has a nice screen and good touch controls but how could you make good games with no buttons? Well one of the first games I fell in love with was Plants vs. Zombies and since then we have seen Plants vs. Zombies on literally every platform you could possibly think of. The last outing for the touted game is on the Nintendo DS. Does the game have the necessary tools to make for a great DS game?
For those of you that have never played a game of Plants vs. Zombies before it is a very simple tower defense game where the object is to not allow the zombies to get past your lines of defense and into your house. You have sunflowers that collect suns as well as suns falling from the sky that helps you buy different types of plants that are then used to try and stop the zombies. There are a ton of different plants and a ton of different zombies each with combinations that work to take the zombies down. Some zombies are like tanks and take a lot of force to take down others are quick and sneakier that take walls to stop them from penetrating defenses. Regardless there is a lot of strategy involved in what looks to be a simple tower defense game.
Plants vs Zombies for the DS is really kind of a perfect platform for the game, except for the screen size. The top screen feels useless as everything is played with the stylus on the bottom screen which can cause some issues. This is a lot of game to be played on the small bottom screen and it can get a bit wearing on the eyes. It’s not a huge issue as you get used to it and the stylus controls works just as well as a touch screen on an iPhone or a mouse on a PC/Mac. The control scheme on the DS works well and once you get used to using only the bottom screen its quite fun to play.
One of the issues I have always had with Plants vs. Zombies is its incredibly slow start. You have to get through the first ten levels or so before any real challenge comes on. The challenge does end up ramping up pretty good but if you have played any version of this game before don’t expect any new added difficulty. There is an added multiplayer function that has to be played locally which can be pretty entertaining and adds some added depth for those with friends with the game.
One of the only issues with Plants vs. Zombies on the DS are the graphics which are greatly hindered by being jam packed in the bottom screen. I understand why the developers chose to put it all down there it just doesn’t work out as well as you would hope. You can see everything well enough to play the game but the stuff is a bit cramped in the small of a space.
Plants vs. Zombies is a simple yet addicting experience. Having played this series on pretty much every platform it has come out on you would think I would be burned out and yet each time I get a new push to want to keep playing and the DS version was no different. There is a level of simplicity that is refreshing about this game, it is one you don’t need a PHD in controls or video games to be able to just sit down and play.
Although not the optimal version of Plants vs. Zombies, I would say that this is a worthy entry into the Nintendo DS lineup. If you haven’t yet tried this amazing game the DS is a good version to see what all the fuss is about.